Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting. The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday night at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.
Thingol Chillblane - A Frostborne Paladin of Kenaz (Tony)
Sister Athura Magnusdottir - A healer and member of the Sisters of Mercy (Tony)
Vigo - An engro rogue of various talents (Martin)
Vissarel Nerinen - A Taiga Elf and mistress of Elemental magics (Kat)
Alvina - A Hearth Elf and Lorekeeper (Esme)
Zigmursund - A human roadwarden (Dave H)
Roderick - A Taiga Elf Bladedancer (Kat)
Somerlisse is Safe Once Again
Once the last zombie is destroyed the townsfolk emerge from their houses to see what all the commotion was about. The Ridder's Huscarl, Oswulf, arrives with some guards to survey the aftermath. Runa tells him to burn the bodies and he issues orders to his men to gather the corpses and any stray limbs and construct a pyre in the street.
The six that came out of the infirmary, 4 women and 2 men, were all patients from Lier afflicted with the poison thrymcurse. The six who sprang out of the snow are all very lightly clothed mefolk, one just wearing a nightshirt. It looks like they hid and burrowed through the snow in advance of this attack. Either they have rudimentary intelligence or someone is nearby orchestrating their movements. Oswulf orders his men to scour the town to make sure there are no more zombies.
Some of the braver townsfolk come down into the street to get a better look. One old man exclaims that he knows one of them, possibly a second. He claims that one is a Finnar tribesman who sold him reindeer meat when they came through town in their caravan about a month ago.
The Finnar are a nomadic people who live in the Unclaimed Lands in the far north of Rassilon. These Finnar are reindeer herders who come down from the north every winter to graze their herd near the Brinya stead to the west of Somerlisse. To get there our heroes must navigate the Denecar Bog and go past the Brinya stead.
Vissarel and Roderick retire to the room she shares with Athura and catch-up with each other. Athura retires with Thingol to treat his wounds and exhaustion. Vigo wanders round town with a couple of the guard and explains to them loudly about how Lady Athura will make sure the town is safe. She’s a bold fighter, a skilled healer and has many more talents,
"There’s a lot of fire still left in that old kettle"
Torvild Shares Her Secret
An old woman approaches him and asks if he is one of the saviours of Somerlisse. Vigo bashfully says he is but he plays only a small part. She goes on to say that this is all her fault, about a month ago she met a frostborn stranger in town who was looking for his parents. After listening to his tale it dragged something up out of the past which should have remained buried. He told her that his mother was Fryggth the Ridder's second wife who died twenty or so years ago.
The guards identify the woman as Torvild, the Ridder's maid and Vigo invites her back to the inn where she can divulge her story in warmth. The guards continue their search of the town.
Alvina goes to the infirmary and speaks with Runa And Ydonia. She finds out about the Thrym cursed poison stone found in the well at Lier and that the six who attacked were patients who came in off the road this afternoon.
They were in a much worse state than quarryfolk of Lier and she speculates that they may be from steads further afield, perhaps even as far as the Brinya stead.
In the Copper Kettle Inn Torvild tells Vigo that many years ago she spoke with a drunken Oswulf who told her what really happened to Fryggth. Apparently, she did not die on the way back from Hellfrost Keep like the Ridder claimed. Instead she gave birth to a frostborn child she said would be a herald of the Thrym and that it was not The Ridder's child. Penfrick banished her from Somerlisse and its borders for her infidelity and ordered Oswulf to take the child out and leave it to the mercies of the snow. Oswulf could not follow through on these orders and entrusted the child to a passing tribe of Finnar. Fryggth was left at an old abandoned stead somehere near the Drakewood forest.
Torvild says that she relayed all the details of the story Oswulf had kept secret for twenty years to the man who said his name was Valcoinan and he became very angry. He vowed to return and destroy Somerlisse.
As Torvild leaves the inn Alvina returns and begins questioning Vigo about what the woman told him. Vigo is evasive knowing that Athura will know what to do with this information. Thingol stomps down the stairs and confronts the engro.
I cannot sleep, How do you do it little man? Athura snores like a herd of reindeer!
The Ridder's Secret Shared
In the morning Zigmursund and Roderick leave early to begin asking around town about Thrympriests, strangers, Finnar tribespeople and zombies. The heroes share breakfast and Vigo shares the tale of Fryggth and the child as relayed by Torvild. After much careful listening and consideration Athura announces that they have 3 options:
Visit the Finnar grazing grounds beyond the Brinya stead.
Return to the burial mounds at Somerhlaw and look for Fryggth’s body or any evidence to back up Torvild's story.
Head to the Brinya stead and look for orcs. Nothing has been heard from them in days.
Vigo suggests that there is a 4th option and that Athura should talk to the ridder again. Athura dismisses this option,
“The ridders deceitful actions have put this town in jeopardy and led to the deaths of many innocents. He may well have to answer for his part in this sorry affair. The less he knows about what we are doing the better our chances of getting it done and bringing those responsible to justice.”
They agree to ride out for the Brinya Stead and perhaps on to the the finnar in the hope that they can kill two birds with one stone.
Roderick and Zigursmund return but can add no new information, the townsfolk know little of thrympriests and curses. They agree to join the expedition. Alvin scavenges up a bow for Roderick and the heroes ride out as the mid morning sun warms the countryside.
The Denizens of Denecar Bog
The ride to Denecar Bog is about 7 miles and goes smoothly without incident. The heroes crest a hill and get their first glimpse of the extent of the bog in the valley below. A swampy tree filled marsh fills the valley whilst a thin trail dotted with trail marker poles wends it’s way through the dotted patches of standing frozen water.
Athura befriends a sparrow who agrees to lead them through the bog.
Zigmursund finds horse tracks leading to a riderless horse grazing on the edge of the tree line. Vissarel speaks to the horse whilst Vigo helps himself to the contents of its saddlebags, just some dried meat. The horse says it’s rider, a woman, went into the bog some time ago. The ground is too treacherous for horses so she left him here. The horse munches away to itself whinnying,
"This grass is not the best I have ever eaten, but it fills my belly well enough."
After much discussion the wary party dismount and Vissarel tells her horse to look after the others.
Off the thin trail the ground is very soft and treacherous underfoot, they will need to take extreme care. As they pick their way along the trail they pass several of the trail markers. seven foot tall poles planted in the more solid earth of the path.
Zigmursund spots some familiar bushes up ahead, thorndarts. These unusual troublesome plants are meat eaters and are want to attack animals who wander too close. He passes the word back along the path and Thingol trudges through the marsh to the head of the trail and casts his fire bolts burning the bushes to ash.
"They will trouble us no more" he grunts.
Suddenly Athura and Alvina cry out “Attack Attack!” and the surprised heroes brace themselves as 3 large birds of prey swoop in attacking from either side of the trail. Their silver coloured beaks and red, blue and green feathers glinting in the midday sun.
Zigmursund taunts one with green feathers swooping in from the north side of the trail to attack him. Vigo moves to Athura side to protect her, shooting at one with blue feathers as he moves. Thingol fires 3 fire bolts at the green bird to no effect. Roderick shoots at a blue feathered bird on the northside of the trail but misses. Athura tries to befriend the red feathered bird swooping in from the south side of the trial. It can only reply with an animalistic hateful screech which roughly translates to “Flesh!!”. Alvina realising that she no longer has Thingol's protection and shoots her bow at the blue feathered bird and her arrow sticks out of its wing.
The green bird strafes the head of the trail flinging of its 3 feathers at Zigmursund wounding him in the chest and shoulder. Three blue feathers fly through the air at Athura, Vissarell and Alvina as the blue bird wheels eastward. Vissarell looks down in pain to see a pool of blood blooming across her stomach. Alvina also cries out as a feather pierces her shoulder. The red bird attacks Zigmursund, Roderick and Vigo but only Roderick is hit and wounded the other two feathers bounce off the heroes armour.
Vissarel mimics Thingols fire bolt spell and 3 large flaming spheres. One strikes squarely on the red feathered bird which explodes into pieces, Chunks of burning flesh arc across the sky and land with a sizzle into the bog beyond. Anpother hits the green bird which catches fire and it screeches to a hovering halt flapping it's wings maniacally. The last bolt careens into the blue bird nbut has little effect. Zigmursund flails at the green bird he taunted but loses his footing as he steps off the trail. Roderick lashes out at the fiery flapping screeching creature and cuts its head off. Athura lays her hands on Vissarel and says a healing prayer. Vissarels pain subsides entirely as their last attacker, the blue feathered bird wheels around to make another attack.
As the bird begins to dive onto the heroes, Vissarel shoots balls of fire but misses. Alvina shoots her bow but misses, Thingol follows suit casting three fire bolts which hit but do not harm the creature. Vigo forces back the pain and shoots his bow. Another miss. The blue bird strafes the heroes and Zigmursund cries out clutching 2 feathers which have hit him in the chest. He falls back into the swampy water disappearing from sight. Thingol is also hit by a feather and is shaken.
Thingol summons his strength and fires a salvo of fire bolts at the bird and is rewarded with a palpable hit. Vissarel has still more luck and the creature bursts into flame as her fire bolts strike with furious force bringing the creatures still flapping corpse crashing into the swamp.
A bevy of hands frantically search the water and pull the unconcious roadwarden out of the murky shallows. Athura lays her hands on him just in time to stop him from becoming lost to the bog. She checks everyone out and heals those who were wounded by the birds. Praise the Goddess.
Thingol remarks morosely
“Denecar bog may not be trying to eat us, but the things that live in it definitely are”